The Secret of the Old Clock, written by Carolyn Keene, is the first of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Armed with good wits and a strong will to see a case through, Nancy Drew is a young, amateur sleuth. (According to, this novel was first published in 1930, but only its 1959 version, which was a significant rewrite, is currently in print.)

The mystery in The Secret of the Old Clock is about the missing will of Mr. Crowley. He promised to leave his fortune to certain friends whom Nancy meets. None of them have received their promised money because a will was drafted giving the Topham family access to Mr. Crowley’s fortune. Nancy learns there is possibly another will and that an old clock could lead to its whereabouts. That clock, she discovers, is at the Topham’s summer cabin. Nancy has a friend who runs a camp on the other side of the lake. This gives her the perfect plan; she will seek the permission of the caretaker and take a look at the clock.

The “perfect” plan unravels when she walks into the house in search of the caretaker and finds two robbers who are stealing things from the house. She is locked in a closet, but she is rescued by the caretaker. The old clock, however, is missing. She calls the police who are looking for the robbers, but she finds where the robbers are hiding before the police. She searches for and finds the clock. Inside it is a note, but before she can read it, she is interrupted by the returning robbers. Nancy informs the police of the direction the robbers took. They are caught and the clock is recovered.

The note Nancy finds, will it lead to a secret will? What will the Topham’s do about the news of another will? Were Mr. Crowley’s friends mentioned? Such questions are all answered.

The Nancy Drew series was written for girls ages 10 to 15 years. This book is a great read for those young readers interested in sleuthing and trying to figure out who did it. Though the book is not specifically Christian, the novel makes a clear distinction between good and bad. Criminals do not get away with their crimes. The book’s sleuth, Nancy Drew, is a young person of good character. She respects adults and authority figures. She is kind hearted and tries to help people by solving the mystery. She perseveres, following through despite the difficulties she encounters

Kristina O’Brien is a mother of twin girls, an avid reader and a credentialed teacher. She has taught both middle school and high school history. She is currently a stay-at-home mom and enjoys raising her two girls.